Fergus District High School
Centre Wellington District High School
680 Tower Street South
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Fergus District High School at 680 Tower Street South is situated on the north side of Belsyde Avenue, between Tower Street South (Hwy. No. 6) and St. David Street South, in the Town of Fergus, in the Township of Centre Wellington. The three-storey cut-stone building was designed in the Collegiate Gothic style by architects S.B. Coon and Son. It was constructed in 1927.
The property is designated, by the Township of Centre Wellington for its historic value, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 2006-072).
The Fergus District High School is prominently located at the principal intersection of Tower Street and Belsyde Avenue and is a striking local landmark. It was constructed on a slight rise overlooking the Provincial Highway (Hwy. No. 6) using high quality materials, and an attention to detail, that exemplifies the importance the community placed on education.
The Fergus District High School is significant for its strong connection to the community of Fergus. The original portion of the building was constructed in 1927 and is sheathed in broken course cut-stone and accented by an elaborate copper entablature, which spans the entire façade. It was designed by S.B Coon and Son in the Gothic Collegiate style and modeled after Clinton Collegiate in Clinton, Ontario. The builders were G.H Thomas and Son, of Galt. The original structure contained three floors with ten classrooms, a gymnasium, and an auditorium. Due to the growing enrolment, an addition was added, in 1957, on the north end of the original building. Two other additions were added in 1964 and 1967 respectively. The school closed in 2004.
The Fergus District High School was attended by local residents from 1928 until 2004. Few other buildings in the municipality are so well known or associated so closely with local memories. The Fergus District High School represents a significant phase in the development of the community as it was the last school to be built in the area before the Great Depression, which occurred shortly after its construction.
Sources: Township of Centre Wellington By-Law 2006-072; Notice of Intention to Designate, The Wellington Advertiser, January 27, 2006; A History of Education in Fergus, Jeff Ferguson; Planning Justification Report, Former Centre Wellington District High School, MacKinnon and Associates, 2006.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Fergus District High School include its:
- original and intact exterior envelope of the entire 1927 structure
- all exterior masonry work, including window and door openings
- main elevation on Tower Street (excepting the newer, single floor, stone wing
to the south)
- t-wing that extends east from the back wall of the main wing
- flashing and entablature
- existing roofline and roof shape
- existing Tower Street and Belysde Avenue perspectives
- location on a slight rise overlooking the Provincial Highway
- location at a principle intersection
- size and quality craftsmanship reflecting its grandeur
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
1967/01/01 to 1967/01/01
1964/01/01 to 1964/01/01
2004/01/01 to 2004/01/01
2006/01/01 to 2006/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Learning and the Arts
Function - Category and Type
- Primary or Secondary School
Architect / Designer
S.B Coon and Son
G.H Thomas and Son
Location of Supporting Documentation
Township of Centre Wellington
1 MacDonald Square
Cross-Reference to Collection